That’s what they should have called Pan’s Labyrinth.
I know I’m like four months late to see this, but after laying around all day with a friend on Saturday, we decided we could do no more laying and went to go see the film at Sunshine, on Houston.
I fell asleep.
If you know me at all you should know I NEVER fall asleep during movies, ever. In fact, I find falling asleep during a movie to be a HUGE insult. My roommate does this all the time and I hate him for it. Especially if it’s a movie I picked out. The only reason to watch a movie with someone is so that you can have this shared narrative between the two of you, like you read a book together. You can talk about it, joke about it, quote it, etc. But when one of you falls asleep, it’s almost as bad as passing out during sex.
I was simply not entertained at all by Pan’s Labyrinth. I mean, I got all the allegories and imagery. The escape into fantasy, the parallels between what was happening in the real world and what was happening in Ofelia’s world. I get it. Way to be unnecessarily obtuse.
Stylistically, the movie excelled. It was beautifully shot, excellently directed and the special effects were marvelous. However, most of the special effects were used to show graphic, unsettling violence. A cheek slashed open, a nose pummeled into a face, a bullet hole through a cheek causing an eye to roll back into its head. That’s great art-house, baby!
The best thing about not liking this movie is the instant disdain you get from anyone and everyone who liked it even a little bit. You get to hear the classic modern art line, “I just don’t think you got it.” Like you’re a fumbling autistic who was wheeled into a graduate level physic seminar and grasping the simple concepts behind the imagery are beyond your feeble brain power.
What’s worse is that immediately following this argument you usually get hit with the, “Oh this is so superior to American mass market films. It’s a higher level of taste.” I despise the assumption that simply because a movie is European and non-traditional in its method of story telling that it is instantly superior. Before you slide down this all to common road of overly designed furniture, font studies and film noir, remember that Europe has also brought us such wonderful things as Italian Pop music, French rap and British reality television.
Cinema is for me, as it always has been, about entertainment. I spend a lot of time thinking, in fact, my over active imagination, second guessing and introspection are quite usually a problem for me. So when people give the ass-hat line of “this movie makes you think,” I read that as, “this movie is a fucking snooze fest for simpering morons who lack the ability to think themselves.” Why do you need a movie to make you think about something? If you had an active, functioning brain you could just do it yourself.
For me, Pan’s Labyrinth was just that. A snooze fest shit buffet full of style for the non thinking designer cadre and lacking any semblance of an interesting story. Sorry.
Hey look, the labyrinth! I will spend about two minutes here and then it’s back to the Spanish Inquisition, or whatever.
PS: If you’re the type of person who sits through the entire credits of a movie, making me feel like a jack ass for getting up and as soon as they roll, kindly die. I have no interest in knowing who the best boy grip was and unless he’s your nephew, neither should you.